ST. LOUIS, Mo, June 5, 2014 - The St. Louis Cardinals, armed with two of the first 34 selections in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, selected a pair of right-handed pitchers in the opening round. The Cardinals selected Luke Weaver out of Florida State University with the 27th pick overall and right-handed pitcher Jack Flaherty out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, Calif., with the 34th overall selection in tonight's First Round.
Weaver, 20, went 8-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 games for the Seminoles this season, striking out 85 batters in his 106.1 innings pitched while walking just 23 and holding opponents to a .226 batting average. A First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference player in 2014, Weaver becomes the second Florida State 1st round pick for the Cardinals in the last two years (OF James Ramsey-2013). His eight wins paced Florida State and T3rd in the ACC, while his innings pitched T2nd among all ACC pitchers. He had a stretch of 19.2 innings pitched this season without allowing a run, spanning parts of four starts from May 3 through May 24. The 6-2, 170-pound DeLand, Fla., native was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round of the 2011 MLB draft out of Deland High school.
"We love Luke's stuff, his makeup and his potential," stated St. Louis Scouting Director, Dan Kantrovitz. "He has a fastball he can spot on both sides of the plate and an 'out' pitch that is effective to both lefties and righties. His change-up is his go-to out pitch and his breaking ball is also a quality pitch."
Flaherty, the 2014 California Gatorade Player of the Year went a perfect 10-0 this season with a miniscule 0.63 ERA. The Burbank Calif., native hasn't lost a game since 2012, after finishing 13-0 during the 2013 campaign. The 6-3, 217 pound righty opened his team's playoff rounds by pitching a no-hitter. Flaherty has signed a letter of intent with North Carolina.
"Jack is an exciting talent," Kantrovitz stated. "As he goes from a two-way high school player to exclusively a pitcher, we think he will thrive in our system. He has life on his fastball that can run up to 93-94 mph. The thing that separates him is that he has three quality secondary pitches he can throw for strikes."
The Cardinals 34th pick tonight is a compensation pick for Type A free-agent Carlos Beltran. The Cardinals have had two first-round draft picks for three-straight seasons, having selected RHP Michael Wacha #19 overall and OF James Ramsey #23 in 2012 and LHP's Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky #19 and #28 overall in 2013.
This is the 8th time (1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2005, 2012, 2013) in team history that the Redbirds have selected more than one player in the opening round since the draft's inception in 1965. The Cardinals have selected 31 pitchers, 3 catchers, 17 infielders and 7 outfielders with their first round selections. The team's highest overall selection was pitcher Braden Looper (3rd pick overall) in 1996. The Cardinals have had just 11 top-10 selections, the last being outfielder J.D. Drew (5th overall) in 1998.